HERMETIC JOURNEYS HOST, TONYG
A Story Steeped in Wonder
Timeless stories, poems, and myth are what drive my work. It has been my pleasure to host Hermetic Journeys but there is another part of me that I would like to bring to light.
I love taking great works of literature and putting them to music so that people can look at them in a new light and appreciate them in a different way. I want to ignite peoples interest and passion through the medium of music so that complex themes are simplified through song and verse. In fact, music is the vehicle through which these concepts are developed and expressed.
Below you will find my albums and videos associated with my work.
I have spent a lifetime writing, performing and recording music. Each performance - each recording - is a profound learning experience. I feel I have mastered nothing as I am always learning about this amazing form of expression. But my music will speak for me. If I were to attempt to describe it, I would say my music is eclectic and has a strong melodic and sometimes, exotic flavor.
THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH
My first, "solo" album, "The Epic of Gilgamesh," is a musical interpretation of the 5000 year old Sumerian story. Musicians from around the world contributed their parts via file sharing creating what I call, "a musical quilt." It was made into a play at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon and was used in a film from the University of Washington. The Gilgamesh Web Companion is as important as the album itself as it contains two years of research as I simultaneously worked on the music. Because of this, the album is listed as supplemental material in universities across the United States. The song, "We Are All One," was selected by Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull as the "Rubbing Elbows" song contest winner and was performed live with Ian Anderson and his band at the Orpheum theater in Phoenix, AZ
My third "solo" album, "Ahab," released in 2010. A musical interpretation of Herman Melville's, "Moby Dick." Some of the lyric is based on the podcasts of professor Hubert Dreyfus (UC Berkley). Like the Gilgamesh Web Companion, The Ahab Web Companion is very important because it reveals the myriad philosophical opinions and theories regarding Moby Dick. George Klauba, an amazing artist whose mesmerizing series of paintings on Moby Dick was kind enough to permit me to use a few of the paintings from this series for the cover and booklet of the CD!
BIG STAR WAY
My second release, "Big Star Way," was an exploration of the UFO phenomenon, because I am fascinated by our culture's reaction to the unknown. It is based on a Navajo story and ritual healing complex that speaks of how Coyote (the trickster of most Navajo stories) desires the wife of Younger Brother, and persuades him to climb a rock on which Coyote has painted a nest of eagles. Coyote blows on the rock, sending it skyward, stranding Younger Brother and allowing Coyote to take his wife. It is in the heavens that Younger Brother encounters the Star People, who help him defeat Coyote through the teachings of Big Star Way. The album found it's way on the, "Coast to Coast" Radio show where the song, "My Little Grey," (a 1950s spoof about UFO abduction) was chosen as bumper music from the "Emerging Artists" contest on that international radio program. That same song, later released as a single, was also graciously premiered on Richard C. Hoagland's radio program, "The Other Side of Midnight."
THE SILK ROAD JOURNEY OF XUANZANG
My fourth solo album, "The Silk Road Journey of Xuanzang," is an excursion into ancient Chinese, Persian and Indian music following the 10,000 mile journey of Xuanzang, the Buddhist monk who travelled the Silk Road. The Xuanzang Web Companion contains historical information on Xuanzang's journey as well as information on Buddhist precepts. The music from the album was used in the fascinating documentary, "A Journey of the Heart," by Ravi Verma and I was graciously invited to the film's premiere in Sacramento, California. Subsequently, on my excursion to India, I was invited to speak about the film and the album at Tibet House in New Delhi where I had the privilege of meeting the venerable Geshe Dorji Damdul, the Director of Tibet House and a translator for His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Tibet House is a wonderful organization to maintain Tibetan culture for those living in India.
AT THE DOOR BY HERESY
My band, Heresy's first album, "At The Door" released in 1985. Steve Vai is on this one. Yeah. Steve Vai Dude! Available only on vinyl and can be ordered on Amazon.com.
A FAR CRY BY HERESY
The 1989 release of the second Heresy album. "A Far Cry" is a 71 minute concept double album. The song, "Chalkin' it Up" was featured on Long Island radio stations. The CD can be purchased on Amazon.
FOREST DANCE BY GARY STROUTSOS AND TONYG
I am working with Gary Stroutsos, a world renown Native American flautist on re-imagining and re-arranging Jethro Tull songs based on their lyrical component as a platform for the music. This is not a tribute album but is instead a close look at the deep implications of that music and completely stripping it down to its most basic components. The name of this project is, "Forest Dance," which is also available on my web site store.
Since the release of this effort, I have performed with the Gary Stroutsos Ensemble and released a promo video of our first concert in Seattle last year. In June of this year (2019), I am headed back to Seattle for four sold-out performances; two with the entire Ensemble and the other three with either Gary and myself and one or two members from the Ensemble. Interest continues to grow and it is a very exciting venture for me to be part of this endeavor! You can purchase this album on the main page of this site for $5.00.
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE
My latest "solo" release, "Too Little, Too Late," is a collection of old and new songs, re-recorded and given a new lease of life, so to speak. They are reflections and perspectives based on life experience with a dash of just plain ol' fun for good measure. The single, "Ghosts Upon the Stair," was featured on Richard C. Hoagland's radio program, "The Other Side of Midnight," on his fascinating program.